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Old 12-17-2010, 08:10 PM   #1
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Refuel locations - gas RV

I've noticed a lot of chatter about FJ and other places for fueling. It sounds like some of those locations have RV pumps for gas in addition to diesel. Much of the time we'll be using our newly acquired RV & towing the racer in a 20' trailer. This makes our rig pretty long for many gas pump locations. How does one figure out where the suitable places to stop for fuel are located?

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Old 12-17-2010, 08:25 PM   #2
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Great question Ken. You'll find you need to develop very good "distance vision" so you can size up your ability to get in and (more importantly) out of fuel stops before comitting yourself. Surprisingly, I don't think I've found FJ "RV" pumps to be much more accessible than your average roadside station. Often the islands aren't angled so a long rig still has to navigate two 90 degree turns in tight quarters with a dozen suv's and mini vans.

At least in the case of diesel, some states charge a commercial road tax at the pump when you buy at the "truckers" diesel pumps. I sometimes pay it to avoid having to deal with the traffic at the "RV" pumps.

Good Luck...

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Old 12-17-2010, 08:35 PM   #3
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There is a book sold at a lot of RV locations called " The Next Exit " that can sometines be a lot of help. Some friends of ours use it a lot and I have a couple of times.

My MH is 33 Ft. and I tow a Ford Explorer and have never had a problem at FJ but I usually use the regular auto pumps. The RV island is usually so full that I'm gone before most of those people get to the pumps.
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:59 PM   #4
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You'll at least have an advantage in that your towing a trailer versus flat towing.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:24 PM   #5
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The Next Exit is a good tool and will tell you if there is a truck stop at the next exit, but it won't tell you if you can get your racer in with no problems, you are running 50+ feet, plus you are looking for GAS which the alleys are generaly facing the quick-stop, thus you have traffic backing out of the stalls in front, you will take up an entire 2 or 3 pump spaces. and need an unbeleaball turning area to get out.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:42 PM   #6
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Try either picking an outside lane or park just a little off center between two pump islands (taking all four pumps in that lane) then you'll have some extra turning room when it comes time to pull out, but you won't make any new friends with that procedure
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:51 PM   #7
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If you have a GPS you can add truck stops so it will notify you when you get near one...

Also if you have an Iphone there is an app for the next exit.. just click on the app as you drive and before each exit it will pop up whats there... very handy for me because I travel alone and can't scan through a book or directory.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:24 AM   #8
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I use FJ when I can. They are not always the lowest price, and the RV lanes are sometimes crowded; but as owners of gassers, we don't have the option of using diesel lanes at truck stops. I find I can also get into the auto lanes at most FJs and have enough room to make the cut to get back out. Since you have a trailer, you have an advantage in that you can back up.

I also use MSN Gas Prices and to locate stations along the route. The Next Exit is also an excellent resource. I try to plan my gas stops before we start out. That way, I can use Google maps to get a satellite view of a gas station to see if it looks like there will be enough room to get in and out. Street view, if available for that location, is also very helpful.

Many times, the lowest price station in an area will be the most crowded. I will gladly pay a few cents extra a gallon to know I can get in and out of a gas station easily. If I buy 40 gallons of gas, 5 cents a gallon amounts to only $2 - a small price to pay to get in and out quickly and not to have to unhook the toad.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:51 AM   #9
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I have a 39' diesel pusher and we flat tow an intermediate SUV ... during the past 11 years I have used the RV lanes at FJ on a regular basis ... I have only found two (both very old FJ's ... one in Utah and one in western WY) that I had difficulty getting in and out of ... in both cases I got in and out without unhooking.

I have never had to unhook at FJ or any other fueling station for that matter. We have 82,000 miles on this rig ... and we had about 60,000 miles on our previous motorhome ... and my co-pilot starts "strongly sugggesting" we refuel when the fuel gauge gets near the 1/4 mark ... so I have fueled up a goodly number of times.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:56 AM   #10
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I've been in the same situation many times in my gasser. I usually try to pick an outside pump at a fueling stop that will allow me to go behind the facility and come out the other side.
I also keep records of easy in-out fueling areas.
With my pusher, I may not have the same problem.

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Old 12-18-2010, 07:40 AM   #11
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If you have an iPhone there is an app called iExit that looks pretty good. Best part is the app is free and there is no subscription charge like there is for Next Exit.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:55 AM   #12
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Next Exit, Fuel guides, Truckers books are all nice. But as the man said when your towing four down and you need an acre and a half to turn, you can throw all those logs out the window.
The problem is they built the dam islands in the wrong direction.
I may be self centered,(ask DW) but my feeling is if a store owner wants to sell you 50- 100 gallons of gas at todays prices and possibly a Milky-Way bar or two, they can either turn the islands around or put up with us taken multiple lanes of traffic getting in and out.
BJ's are the worst at least in this area. They build a facility to local specifications and then place traffic cones in one of the entrances so you have to drive through a maze to get in and out. I pull up to the cones and toot the horn. Not being very happy with me, they do come out of their little phone booth and move the cones.
Please let me know if you find an atlas that lists RV friendly GAS stations. NOT DEISEL.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:04 AM   #13
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It's pretty much a visual thing , if the pumps run paralall to the building , then I'll take a shot at it regardless of the price , but if you have to face the building then it becomes a looking for a turn around area and on ramp. One time had to unhook the toad at the pump when I decided to save 5 cents per gal. Learned a lesson on that stop.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:29 AM   #14
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Hi Ken,

From your avatar, it appears that you have a nice Stage Rally car, and a 30 ft MH. We tow an autocross car on a 23ft open Featherlite trailer behind a 29 ft MH, so our rigs are about the same. We have used Flying J for years, and rarely have trouble getting in and out. You have to make a quick judgment about parked cars blocking your exit as you pull in, and you sometimes find people with cars using the RV islands. The only other issue is when you buy Propane, and what side your fill is on. At the older FJ stations, you sometimes have to enter the RV lane from the wrong direction in order to access the Propane fill. The newer stations have Propane right with the fuel islands. Finally, I assume you know that the fJ dumping service is no longer free; it costs $10 (or $5 if you are a member of the FJ RV club).
George Schweikle Lexington, KY
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